Howie Good's newest poetry collection, Heart-Shaped Hole, which also includes examples of his handmade collages, is available from Laughing Ronin Press. His poetry collections have won a number of poetry awards, including the Press Americana Poetry Prize. He co-edits the online journal UnLost, dedicated to found poetry.
One woman obsessively checked herself in the mirror for worrying signs that she was developing an archaic hour-glass figure. When I opened my mouth to speak, it was like I had raised the lid of a music box.
The land, to their amazement, seemed to constantly rearrange itself in wild new patterns of rage and decay. On the border, they saw small brown children languishing in lockups. On city streets, they saw young black men in police chokeholds begging for breath.
One day it’s my 33-year-old cousin found dead in bed from an overdose; another day, it’s high school seniors raising their arms in the Nazi salute for a yearbook photo; another, it’s government protesters washing with bottles of Coke to help minimize the sting of tear gas.
The other day a woman was pulled from the canal unconscious and not breathing. That’s when I realized I should have done something sooner – hanged myself from a ceiling hook or bitten down on the muzzle of a gun.
I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs. Everything became blurred. Men in dark glasses stopped anyone from leaving the building who displayed the willful expression of a would-be martyr. All I was trying to do was go home.